In 2019, the Madagascar Population-Health-Environment (PHE) Network celebrated five years of advancing health-environment work in some of the country’s most isolated, under-served and biodiverse zones. In 2020, it is facing potentially the greatest challenge yet – the global COVID-19 pandemic. Whilst network member organisations including Blue Ventures have effectively responded to infectious disease outbreaks in the past, the current crisis threatens not only the health of communities but also the markets and ecosystems upon which their livelihoods depend.
In spite of these obstacles, the network’s holistic, community-based and cross-sector approach is showing itself to be more dependable than ever. Member organisations are ideally placed to bolster resilience among marginalised communities by strengthening healthcare systems and supply chains, leveraging local mobilisation structures and encouraging environmentally sustainable livelihood adaptation strategies.
To support robust cross-sector responses to the pandemic, the PHE network has launched a suite of resources and online support for its members including a preliminary technical guide with suggested actions for health and environmental NGOs. Using messages already promoted by the World Health Organisation in Madagascar, the network has also produced a set of illustrated posters designed for no-contact community outreach in low-literacy settings. Blue Ventures’ interdisciplinary field teams are at the forefront of this initiative, piloting the use of these posters with coastal communities now so that these tools can receive full validation from the Ministry of Public Health before being made available to other network members in several Malagasy dialects.
Alongside other network members, Blue Ventures is working to track and share emerging best practices with regards to cross-sector responses to COVID-19 in order to support learning and further collective action.
Find out more about the Madagascar PHE Network
Explore our COVID-19 resource portal for updates from the field, technical guidance and community outreach tools
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